Harvey Weinstein formally indicted for rape

Harvey Weinstein. Wikimedia Commons/George Biard

May 31 (UPI) — A grand jury in New York City formally indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein on rape charges Wednesday, prosecutors announced.

Weinstein, who was arrested on preliminary charges and released on $1 million bail Friday, was charged with rape in the first and third degrees, and criminal sexual act in the first degree. The charges stem from an incident in 2004 in which Lucia Evans said Weinstein of forced her to perform oral sex on him. Another unnamed woman accused Weinstein of raping her in 2013.

First-degree rape and criminal sex act are class B felonies, while third-degree rape is a class E felony. The most serious rape charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

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Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein’s attorney, said his client intends to plead not guilty and he plans to seek a dismissal of charges.

“If this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr. Weinstein to be acquitted,” he said.

Brafman said Weinstein had a consensual relationship with the accuser.

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